CPR Case Study- Introducing change to a large team

Corinne attended the very first VetMed CPR retreat where she certified as a RECOVER Rescuer. Alongside her coworker, Kara, Corinne went back to practice keen to make changes. Read Corinne’s story of making change and share her journey in improving CPR within veterinary practice.

Prior to attending the retreat, I had interviewed my colleagues to discover how they currently felt about their levels of CPR training. As expected, veterinary surgeons perceived themselves as the most confident, followed by RVNs and then support staff. I found that all staff wished for yearly training to be implemented and that hardly any had received recent training. 

Following the RECOVER rescuer certification myself and my colleague Kara made a plan to attempt to teach all of our colleagues the latest in CPR through an in person theoretical and practical session. We decided that our groups would be small, consisting of two to four people per session, thus allowing us to give close attention to each attendee. Kara and I created a different presentation for each knowledge base; One for non-clinical staff/ branch nursing assistants, one for RVNs and SVNs and confident nursing assistants, and one for vets which had a higher emphasis on client discussion. Part of the preparation involved us creating a CPR dog with a compressible chest and an airway that could be intubated.

VetMed CPR- Auditing Crash Boxes

Part of the training involved attending all of the different branches of our practice and auditing each crash box. The hospital crash box was correctly stocked and audited on a weekly basis. However, several of the branches contained out-of-date products, insufficient products or unnecessary products. Therefore, we ensured that contents were standardised and that a branch team member was placed in charge. 

Trying to introduce a large-scale training plan to our practice has certainly created some challenges. We have tried to minimise disruption to our team’s work/life and do the training during work hours. Staffing levels, emergencies and staff sickness meant that training days needed to be planned with military precision in some cases, whereas the hospital staff were trained on unexpected quiet days. It took around 6 months to train the 20 RVNs and support staff.

The vets were much more of a challenge and in the end, we did their training in the evenings. We are still attempting to finish training the vets a year on as attempting to get five staff together at the same place has not been easy. 

VetMed CPR- Results speak for themselves

All of our colleagues that were trained were given a questionnaire pre and post training based on their current levels of confidence in the CPR setting. Our feedback and post training improvements scores have been excellent in all cases and I feel this has made a huge difference to the team. We were initially worried that the vets would not take kindly to an RVN training them, however it has been incredibly well received. 

Going forward, myself and Kara are in the process of embedding yearly retraining into our work place and ensuring that all new starters are trained as soon as possible. We are thoroughly enjoying holding our training sessions and feel like we are making a big difference to practice! – Corinne